Patrick McGowan

Associate Professor


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

  • molecular neuroscience
  • epigenetics
  • stress
  • behaviour
  • neuroplasticity
  • genomics
  • gene-environment interactions


We use techniques in molecular biology, behavioural neuroscience, and functional genomics to study phenotype. A major focus of the lab is the role of epigenetic mechanisms that confer inter-individual variation in glucocorticoid signaling pathways. Social factors, infections, toxins and disease can all influence gluccorticoid signaling. As such, glucocorticoid signaling pathways act as sensors for environmental signals that affect a range of physiological functions from the response to stress to inflammation. Another major focus in the lab is the role of early life environmental adversity in altering brain and behaviour later in life via epigenetic mechanisms. We study a variety of organisms, from animals in the lab to wild populations and humans.